ATCU Conducts Quinquennial Teachers’ Event

By Henry R. Moncur III | ACTU Communication

Under the theme The Adventist Teacher, Chosen for Mission, Seventh-day Adventist educators from the four schools in the territory of the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) convened for the union’s quinquennial educational gathering dubbed the Teachers’ Forum on March 28, 2024.   

Customarily, educators from Bahamas Academy, Cayman Academy, Grand Bahama Academy, and Maranatha Academy would assemble in one place to engage in professional development and fellowship activities.  However, due to financial constraints, this quinquennium’s event was conducted in a hybrid format. “Usually, we organize a major professional development and appreciation event for our educational workers each quinquennium, and this quinquennium was not an exception even though we were not able to bring everyone together like we did at the convention in Miami in 2013 and the retreat on the cruise in 2018,” Dr. Cheryl Rolle, ATCU education director explained.  “Because of the financial adjustments that had to be made during the COVID-19 pandemic, we had to scale back on what was being planned for this quinquennium.  Therefore, we came together via Zoom for spiritual renewal and professional enrichment. Then, each school group met in its respective country at a specified location to enjoy a bit of fun and relaxation.”

Organized to express appreciation for the dedicated service of the teachers of ATCU as well as to provide opportunities for spiritual renewal, important continuing professional development, and relaxation, the forum catered to teachers, school counselors, school pastors/chaplains, school administrators, and conference officers and education directors.  The goal of this quinquennium’s conclave, according to Dr. Rolle, was to help participants to refocus on the sacred task to which God through Christ Jesus has selected them to do.  “We want to inspire educators to model Christ, the Master Teacher, and to renew their commitment to the sacred call to the ministry of teaching and sharing the gospel,” Rolle noted. 

Dr. Leonard Johnson, executive secretary for the Inter-American Division, was the devotional speaker. Dr. John Wesley Taylor V, president of Andrews University, was the guest presenter who spoke on the topic “Essential Elements of the Philosophy of Adventist Education.”

With four (4) schools in three (3) countries, ATCU educators provide instruction to over 1200 students.  As a result of participating in the forum, it is hoped that educators would have a renewed commitment to representing Christ in the classroom and leading students to love Him.  It is further hoped that with a renewed commitment and a collaborative environment, there would be an increase in student baptisms, student achievement, and constituent satisfaction.

With a membership of 27,694, ATCU, which is headquartered in Nassau, New Providence, The Bahamas, comprises four fields, namely, the Cayman Islands Conference, the North Bahamas Conference, the South Bahamas Conference, and the Turks and Caicos Islands Conference.  In addition, Northern Caribbean University, which is in Mandeville, Jamaica, is jointly owned and operated by ATCU and the Jamaica Union.